LongevityDAO: A Metaverse Funding Real Longevity Research
Please see the legal disclaimer.
The world massively underinvests in medical research because it is a public good. The value of doubling human longevity is worth on the order of a quadrillion (not a typo!) present dollars, whereas the US's National Institute for Aging’s funding for actual aging is less than $300 million a year. Even with slightly conservative estimates, the underfunding is on the order of 100-1000x. Scientific evidence suggests that longevity research is far from today’s technological frontier due to such underinvestment (which includes regulatory outreach).
LongevityDAO (LD) solves this through helping other longevity orgs and research efforts raise funding using crypto means.
The first solution LongevityDAO is providing for the community is the Press Partner and Tech Support (PPTS) program. Under the PPTS program, LongevityDAO donates expertise and press (news) efforts to help other longevity organization (the Target Organization) raise much-needed funding to accomplish their goals.
Target Organizations / companies that generally qualify for our PPTS program generally:
- Already have strong support or publicity amongst users of crypto, whether through its customers, investors, supporters, etc.
- Furthering in longevity effort in some way, usually as one of its primary goals.
- Has the full legal structure (if they need) to support issuance of cryptos. LD does not provide any legal or structural support for the raise.
Examples of good fits for our PPTS program could be:
The general support process is as follows.
- 1.The Target Organization decides to use a crypto mechanism of fundraising, whether issuance of NFTs, or ERC-20s or something else.
- 1.The Target has full discretion over what sort of crypto project it is, what rights future owners will have, etc.
- 2.The Target is the ultimate issuer and actor in this situation, and the issuance occurs from within the entity of the Target Organization.
- 2.LongevityDAO reviews the crypto mechanism to see whether it's a good fit for its longevity mission and press / technical expertise. LD does not endorse the projects nor is responsible for the Target Organization keeping its promises with regards to the project.
- 3.LongevityDAO's press partner service includes a) listing a main marketing page (example here) b) a minting page (example here) and c) a Discord channel (example here) for the project. Note that the minting page is simply an interface on a decentralized smart contract, and anyone can create such an interface.
- 4.LongevityDAO advises the Target Organization on matters of publicity, such as effective Twitter or Discord campaigns. LongevityDAO also advises the Target Organization on best practices for smart contracts. (As always, the target organization is the final responsible party for the project's marketing plan and claims, and smart contract details).
- 5.The project launches, funding the Target Organization and helping the Target achieves its goals.
- 6.Generally, after the main mint event of the Target Organization, which can be anywhere from a few hours to at most 6 months after Mint Start, LongevityDAO takes a more passive role, allowing the Target Organization to take the project in its preferred direction.
LongevityDAO's second (planned for late 2022) method of funding startups is through Foundation Metaverse. Note as of August 2022, this is under development and will likely be available only in future quarters. Most of the rest of this whitepaper relates to Foundation Metaverse. For current ongoing projects like Cryonauts and Lifespan Legends, see the PPTS section above.
Foundation Investments works as follows:
- 1.LongevityDAO sells a first set of NFTs to obtain funding. These NFTs will be artistic, planned to be part of a metaverse, and can also be seen as a thank-you receipt for your help.
- 2.The funding from this first set of NFTs are used to set up a metaverse, including 3D versions of the NFTs, land, and software that enables users to interact in the metaverse.
- 3.LongevityDAO will set up subsequent universes for all companies it funds in the future. Each Company-Universe will issue a set of NFTs to raise funding, and be associated with a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that will make actual equity investments in a longevity company. The longevity company would be standard companies (e.g. C-corporations), and the SPV investments will be standard equity (SAFE, shares, etc).
- 4.When the target corporation achieves a liquidity event, the funds are returned to the further investment into new startups, creating an upward spiral of effective longevity research. The NFT holders in the successful Company-Universe will be given (airdropped) NFTs and land in the new startups' Company-Universes.
How does the Foundation decide which startups to invest in? There are two main methods.
With the Index Method, the Foundation invests broadly across all eligible longevity startups alongside other for-profit funds. Rules for the index investing will be:
- No more than 20% of the value of any round will be comprised of the Foundation investments (this ensures that we are truly indexing alongside other funds who have done good diligence).
- > 50% of the round is filled by for-profit organizations (e.g. VC fund, family office, etc).
- The target startup has longevity as an explicit goal in their research documents.
In the expert board method, a board, elected by tokenholders, decides which startups are suitable for Foundation investment. The board would be screened for both medical experts as well as financial experts to ensure the Foundation's investments are scientifically effective yet financially sound. The investment method would likely be something like Random Serial Dictatorship in order to fund more out-of-concensus bets.
Pros of this approach include:
- If the experts are skillful, being able to be even more effective and have higher returns by identifying the best investments for the Foundation.
Cons of this approach may be:
- Extra overhead: the experts' time (if donated by them), the startups' potential need to produce more documents, the election process for experts.
- Foundation makes actual investments into startups. These are not grants or donations, but actual standard investments, which means more funds can be provided for a given cost, and when funds are returned by companies, we can roll them forward to new startups, increasing leverage.
- Research diversity: by index investing, we ensure that startups in underfunded fields (like gene transfer) receive investments as well.
- Financial diversity: the Foundation's investments are spread between different baskets, so that if one target company has low financial returns, this can be made up by another company's higher financial returns.
Governance may vote for a few variations on funding:
- We may give higher allocations to startups that can help us promote the longevity Foundation (e.g. already have a strong supporter base in crypto).
- We may designate certain areas (CAR-T, small molecules to treat dyslipidemias) as "sufficiently funded" and not fund those areas.
LongevityDAO accelerates funding of longevity research through having a foundation do invest (equity, SAFE, etc) alongside top VCs in a variety of startups doing longevity research.